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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

MAHLE Powertrain helps condense development of emergency medical ventilators into weeks

Date: Thursday 19 November 2020

MAHLE Powertrain has worked in a consortium with medical device specialist, Team Consulting to condense a development process that can usually take up to several years. The engineering services specialist utilised simulation to help de-risk and accelerate development of a new medical ventilator, and the time critical programme was delivered in six weeks as a response to challenges facing the NHS during the early peak of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Team Consulting chose MAHLE Powertrain for this collaboration due to our proven track record of rapid turnaround and experience of working within an extremely time-contracted, often volatile automotive industry,” says Dr David Gurney, MAHLE Powertrain senior principal engineer. “We used GT-SUITE simulation software to de-risk the new Team Consulting ventilator design and carry out performance assessments that replicated the legislative tests required for the final ventilator to achieve approval. This enabled a clear and rapid understanding of the design and highlighted any possible areas of concern.”

Working in lockdown conditions, from first contact between Team Consulting and MAHLE Powertrain as part of a government-led consortium, a simulator model was constructed within three days and pilot production was ready within a month. The GT-SUITE model was used to correlate measured data and carry out sensitivity studies to determine system performance of the new design.

“This was a phenomenal effort despite being hampered by the lockdown restrictions in place at the time,“ said Michael Herd, consultant mechanical engineer at Team Consulting. “The development and application of this predictive model using an automotive focused toolkit showed that drawing on talent from other industries can deliver real benefits to a project. It was a pleasure working with the team from MAHLE Powertrain.”
“The programme demonstrates the value of simulation as a tool to accelerate development times in a wide range of industries,” concludes Dr Gurney. “It was extremely satisfying to work with Team Consulting on such a high pressure, time sensitive project and to see such tangible results.”